Rambling about some impressive prospect performances, worrying about Kane, Isles playing hardball, Huberdeau mulls an offer – and more…
Goodbye summer. I hardly knew ye. Today marks the last Ramblings that I do without looking at any on-ice news. Sure, there's prospect stuff, but I can't really glean a lot from kids scrimmaging against kids. But what the coaching staff says about them during the main camp, well that's another matter. So today is the last day in which I'm desperate to find information. Because come tomorrow, the information will start pouring in. The injury information that beat writers couldn't get (or didn't think to ask about) will suddenly be discovered. Some practice line combos, or kids making big impressions on their coaches.
I really didn't get a summer this year. Quiet time for me is usually from early August through early September and I didn't get that this year due to the re-launch, the Sportsnet deal, and other initiatives I've tried to put into place before the season starts. Even when I went away for a week, it was a two-day trip that felt rushed, followed by a four-day trip that frankly also felt rushed. But the ultimate goal is to keep this site ahead as the top fantasy hockey site and to do that I have to push up my sleeves.
With the end of summer comes the end of our time with Neil Parker and Mike Clifford, who filled in admirably for Steve Laidlaw. They brought a fresh style and perspective here and on many a boring hockey-less day they did the tough job of finding something interesting to write about and they did it well. I hope to have them back next summer and I'll certainly try to get them involved with DobberHockey in some capacity over the season.
I haven't had a draft yet, but I have three drafts in eight days beginning September 26. I'll be using Fantasy Hockey Geek to help me win my fourth title in five years (missed by six points last year, otherwise it would be five in a row). So if you haven't tried FHG yet, get the coupon you'll find in my Guide under the table of contents and get their draft kit for seven bucks.
Simon Gagne has announced his retirement. Not unexpected and to be honest I thought he retired last year when he was granted leave from the Bruins. He finishes with a statline of 822-291-310-601 and plus-129. His best fantasy season was in 2005-06 when he had 79 points in just 72 games, including 47 goals and a plus-31 rating.
Interesting. On Detroit prospect Tyler Bertuzzi:
A member of the Red Wings managment on prospect Tyler Bertuzzi: "He's going to be our (Ondrej) Palat." Not yet, but could happen.— Ken Campbell (@THNKenCampbell) September 16, 2015
Bertuzzi was a 'tough guy' prospect with minimal offensive upside when he was drafted. To the point where, initially, I elected not to even add him to my spreadsheet (I only track the offense when it comes to prospects). But boy, not many players have skyrocketed up the chart as much as he has. And now he's on my Top 180 list (at 176) and with this prospects camp he'll be nudged up even further. That being said, as good as Ondrej Palat is – I think he's only a 55-point player without those stud linemates of his. So if Bertuzzi does indeed become another Palat-type, he'll be without the Kucherov and Johnson aspect. So just bear that in mind.
You can read up on Bertuzzi here (lots and lots of info)
One more note on Prospect camps, because DobberProspects has that well covered with their thrice-weekly Ramblings. I keep seeing Oliver Bjorkstrand's name when I'm reading Aaron Portzline (Columbus beat writer). The guy has been all over the scoresheet and leads the NHL prospects in scoring at the (Traverse City) tournament with eight points. He also says TJ Tynan had a fantastic tournament. Neither will make the team, but it looks like both players will make it a closer call than we thought. Perhaps at the expense of Kerby Rychel and Sonny Milano (who also wouldn't have made it, but I had them pegged as closer).
Well, the Patrick Kane investigation continues. As in – it's not resolved. And now training camps are about to open. So should Kane participate? If he's in training camp, what will the media focus on after each session? And how big will the media presence be versus training camp in a normal year? If he misses some camp time, how will it impact his early-season performance? That panic that fantasy owners started feeling about Kane a month ago? It's finally starting to set in with me right now. I'm a patient man who lets these situations play out, but eventually time expires. I'm not ready to tweak his potential games-played down at all in my Guide. And I probably won't until October gets very close and he's still not in camp. But I'm getting nervous.
Add Andrej Meszaros' name to the list of camp invites. He'll try out for Colorado.
Some RFA news. First the Jonathan Huberdeau front. He has a two-year bridge contract offer from the team that he is considering. How he leans will determine if other teams swoop in with an offer sheet. My guess? He signs soon.
Second, the Brock Nelson front. This one's scary. The Isles aren't even talking to him. They made the offer and left it that. And owner Charles Wang has instated a team rule that he must be signed before camp opens or he'll be ineligible to play this season. And if you don't think Wang and Garth Snow would hold to that, just remember that Brad Isbister and Sean Bergenheim were both left out in the cold. And at the time, these were two young promising players with a bright future. I own Nelson in one of my leagues and I don't like this situation one bit.
New Jersey prospect Reid Boucher suffered a concussion over the weekend. The Devils are already short on wingers, but this will likely cost him the first two weeks of training camp. I have Boucher projected for 73-12-11-23, 18 PIM in the Guide.
Philly prospect defensemen Shayne Gostisbehere says he fully recovered from his knee injury. He had most of last season wiped out due to the injury, which makes it unlikely he makes the Flyers, at least to start.
Both Jamie Benn and Ales Hemsky had offseason surgery on their hips and have been taking part in informal practices with the team. However, they will miss the first few preseason games as they are just not ready. I still think they'll be fine for the regular season. But still worth noting.
I have one more update coming later today on the Guide before Friday's reboot. Longtime readers know that I track my updates by using a blue font on each change. But then on September 18 I change all the font back to black and start all over again tracking changes. This is because the changes come very quickly during training camp and the entire Guide would be blue font if I didn't do this. So if you want to see all my changes since August 1, you'll need to re-download the Guide later Wednesday or on Thursday.
Remember last year when Rob Vollman released a $4.99 Historical Points Projection piece? It takes each player and based on age and recent stats, he lists comparable players in history, adjusted for the era, and spits out a projection. Well he has this out again, this time teaming up with fellow stats guy Matt Cane – and I'm offering this to you FREE with the Fantasy Guide purchase. If you bought the Fantasy Guide, turn to page 151 to get the coupon code. Then come back to the shop and add to your cart, using the coupon code to get it for free.
If you do the Draft Kings deal and you use these coupon codes that are in the Guide, you get – Fantasy Guide, Draft List, Prospects Report, Midseason Guide, Playoff Draft List, Football Cheat Sheets and Historical Player Projections – all for just $10!?!?! And there is another coupon code in there for the Geek Draft Kit that gives you that awesome tool for just $8. (Draft Kings Deal here)
ONE MORE THING!
Click on a player name above. Look what my man Eric Daoust has done with the player profiles! Still a work in progress, but already the PDO is in there and it changes to a deeper green the further from the norm it goes (indicating a "sell high" situation) and to a deeper red the further from the norm it goes the other way ("buy low"). We'll do this same thing for OnIceSH%. So not only do you have the stats you need, and the game-by-game stuff (and you can call it up for preseason, playoffs, etc), but now we have some of the basic advanced stats in there WITH general recommendations as to where they will trend in the future if their stats are a little too "lucky".
- Top 50 Fantasy Prospect Defensemen - August 2019
- Eastern Edge: Players to avoid in your 2019-20 fantasy hockey drafts
- Ramblings: Carlson's Career-Season, Positional Eligibility, Benning's Extension & Marner's Agent (August 21)
- Fantasy Poll: Which Goaltender(s) Will Steal The Ball and Run With It?
- Ramblings: Colin White signs long-term; Jaskin to the KHL; positional battles - August 22
- Fantasy Impact: Derick Brassard Signs With Islanders
- Capped: Team by team buy and sell, part 3
- Top 100 Keeper League Goaltenders - August 2019